Thursday, May 22, 2008
Identity Theft (You May Be the Thief)
Few things frustrate me more than when people (myself included) pour so much time and money into meaningless things. I don't mean things without value. I am talking about things with no true meaning in the grand scheme of eternity.
We spend priceless moments toiling over silly stuff. We waste large sums of money on things that will be on the yard sale table in a year. We put on masks to try to blend in with people who - deep down - we really do not respect and admire. We chase that which will always be out of reach, and try to become something we were never supposed to become.
I am reading a book right now that is blowing my mind, and is creating a stir within my soul. It's called Blue Like Jazz, and was written by Donald Miller. I could spend days going through the simple, yet profound thoughts that Miller shares in the book. But, one that is hitting me hard right now is this: We all want to be cool.
Actually, I'll take it a step further. We all want to be regarded as "cool" by others.
There's an excerpt in the book that explains exactly what I am talking about. One of Miller's friends makes the comment that she likes a particular actor/author "as a person." Miller responds by asking her why she likes him. She responds by saying it's because he is an actor AND an author - and she thinks that is cool. So, Miller asks if his friend knows what this actor/author believes. What he stands for. His friend has no idea. But, she thinks that it's "cool" that he's an actor and an author, so that is why she likes him. No substance.
Miller goes on to say this: I don't know if we really like pop-culture icons, follow them, buy into them because we resonate with what they believe, or whether we buy into them because we think they are cool...I think we have this need to be cool, that there is this undercurrent in society that says some people are cool, and some people aren't. And, it is very, very important that we are cool...The problem I have with this is that we rarely know what the person believes whom we are associating ourselves with.
I think Miller is right on the money here. We are all guilty of this. We associate ourselves with people that make us feel better about ourselves. But, this isn't reality. Reality is that we will only excel at being (and becoming) who God made us...not some cool actor/author we'll likely never meet.
And, here is the conclusion Miller comes to: "Satan, who I believe exists as much as Jesus exists, wants us to believe meaningless things for meaningless reasons."
We waste time trying to be something we're not. Chasing meaningless things.
Marlon Longacre, who is the Community Pastor here at NorthStar, just came in my office and was asking my about what I was typing. Marlon said, "Isn't it amazing how we all start out as originals, but we try so hard to become a carbon copy of someone else?"
Stop the urge to become a cheap replica, and turn your energy to God, who has created you as a priceless original. A one-of-a-kind.